Neck Restoration: Is your Neck Aging You?

Dr. Rod Rohrich of UT Southwestern Medical Center, with colleagues, developed a step-by-step approach to neck restoration as a part of facial rejuvenation or plastic surgery.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) September 15, 2011

Dr. Rod Rohrich, holder of two distinguished chairs of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, announced the release of a step-by-step approach to plastic surgery of the neck, which is based in part on Dr. Rohrich’s neck treatment techniques over the past 15 years, as well as long-term experiences of his patients.

“The front of the neck is one of the primary features we use to guess a person’s age. It often catches our eye first,” Dr. Rohrich explains. “Sagging neck skin is the telltale sign of true aging, so restoration of the neck is an important part of facial rejuvenation or facial plastic surgery.”

What makes a neck look old?

According to Dr. Rod J. Rohrich, a plastic surgeon in Dallas, Texas at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the aging features of the neck are: prominent banding, fullness and wrinkles. He said the aesthetic aging qualities of those three deformities can be compounded by a recessed chin or a prominent, low-set hyoid bone, which causes an obvious protrusion from the front of the neck. "If you properly correct the sagging neck in facial rejuvenation such as a face lift, that is the key to a youthful face and a happy patient," Rohrich explains.

A review of Dr. Rohrich’s 15 years of facial rejuvenation patients who are unhappy with the way they look, revealed that their necks are frequently one of main things they express dissatisfaction about, along with the other two other features that help us guess people’s ages—eyes and lips. Dr. Rohrich said, “The neck is what bothers most women most, and they are as young as 30.”

Dr. Rohrich explains that pre-operative evaluation and planning for neck restoration can be daunting, especially if there are a number of different neck deformities present. That is why he and a number of colleagues created a simple step-by-step approach to neck rejuvenation for the most common neck deformities. In addition to being based on Dr. Rohrich’s work and patients, the approach is based on individual anatomic and clinical analysis.

Neck Deformities: Wrinkles, Deep Lines, Sagging Skin, Fat, and Muscle

Dr. Rohrich identified three basic steps in the process: First, when a patient comes to a doctor for plastic surgery of the neck , the doctor’s first job is to carefully listen to what bothers the patient about his or her looks. Second, the doctor must carefully study and understand the anatomic basis for the neck deformity or deformities. Finally, this deep understanding allows the surgeon to choose the appropriate neck restoration treatment to achieve reliable results.

“The key is to identify the underlying problem,” explains Dr. Rohrich. “Is it wrinkles, or is it only deep lines that bother the patient? Maybe it’s just sagging skin, but not wrinkles. Perhaps the problem is both the skin and fat. Or, it could be all three: skin, fat and muscle.”

The step-by-step treatment process Dr. Rohrich and his colleagues developed includes a number of categories based on these problems. Here are a few examples of the ways doctors use the categories to determine who is a candidate for what type of neck restoration:

  •     If deep lines in the neck are the only problem, Dr. Rohrich uses Botox and fillers to improve or correct them.
  •     If the skin is mildly loose only, without other aesthetic neck problems, Dr. Rohrich might perform ulthera, an innovative ultrasound wave method of deep dermal skin tightening.
  •     Some younger patients who have problems with neck fat and no other aesthetic neck problems might be treated with liposuction.
  •     If a patient has prominent banding in the neck without skin laxity, this is one of the rare times an actual neck lift could be done alone.
  •     A complete facial lift and fill is performed with a neck lift when a patient has all three primary problems: loose skin, lax muscle and fat.

Dr. Rohrich said the step-by-step analysis and categorizing of patients helps the doctor clarify treatment, as well as explain to the patient what the possible results might be. He explains that a front-end effort to understand the underlying problems helps assure the post-operative look of the patient will be satisfying.

Dr. Rohrich will highlight the step-by-step process, along with a new way to correct neck bands and upper chest wall wrinkles, at an upcoming meeting of the American Society Plastic Surgeons in Denver, Colorado. He will chair a course on innovations and advances in fillers and toxins called “Achieving Optimal Patient Outcomes – Using Current Trends in Aesthetic Injectable.”

About Rod J. Rohrich, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Dr. Rohrich holds the Betty and Warren Woodward Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He also holds the UT Southwestern Medical Center Crystal Charity Ball Distinguished Chair in Plastic Surgery. He is a graduate of the Baylor College of Medicine with high honors, with residencies at the University of Michigan Medical Center and fellowships at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard (hand/microsurgery) and Oxford University (pediatric plastic surgery). He has served as president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He repeatedly has been selected by his peers as one of America’s best doctors, and twice has received one of his profession’s highest honors, the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes his contributions to education in his field. Dr. Rohrich participates in and has led numerous associations and councils for the advancement of plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is a native of North Dakota. He is married to Dr. Diane Gibby, also a plastic surgeon. They live in Texas with their two children.